The setting and subsequent conversation was surreal. Eight people sitting around a table. The individuals represented two banks; however, most of us shared a common experience of working for a competitor to both of us. All spoke Portuguese, except me. The purpose of the meeting was for one bank to share their experience of installing a vendor computer system with another. While the sides were carefully drawn, dialogue was clearly the order of the day.
Going into the meeting, the obvious questions were repeatedly discussed. What kind of reception would we receive? How open would the people attending the meeting be with their experiences? Who would actually be attending on their side? Would there be an opportunity to ask any question we might come up with? Did we actually know what we wanted to ask?
I tried to keep my fears to myself. I knew that a “truthful witness by a good person clears the air, but liars lay down a smoke screen of deceit.” (Proverbs 12.17) I wondered if I was entering a room where I would engage in a battle of wits or the beginning of a new conversation.
The experience was amazing! The conversations were open and candid. Our views of system’s weaknesses were very similar and their experience gave us confirmation on part of our solution. I easily saw future conversations and relationships growing into full maturity because of the foundation laid during this time. The offer and tour of their operations establish a common bond on the challenges of delivering service in a complex environment to demanding customers.
Today I began a fresh conversation with God. Even if you are not aware of it, you did as well. I wonder if I will express the courage and faith that my competitors did yesterday in Brazil. Will my conversation be honest? Do my words clear the air or am I trying to pull the veil over God’s eyes?
I really enjoyed my conversation yesterday. God loves truthful dialogues, especially ours. The opportunity is here; regardless of what else is happening. Take it.